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Old 04-10-2011, 09:34 AM   #1
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Evacuated by Fire in Fort Davis TX

A big fire broke out near Fort Davis yesterday and is still blazing today!

We were just hanging out in the campground at Davis Mountain State Park yesterday when we saw what looked like a huge dustcloud coming our way. Didn't really think much about it until the rangers came around telling us to prepare for evacuation. Only an hour later the cloud was black and we were told to leave.

Spoke to some RVers that left shortly after us who said they saw the fire crest the hilltop above the campground as they were leaving. One rig was still there, the owners likely away for the day.

We made it out fine and spent the night in an abandoned lot near I10, but the fire is still blazing and nowhere near contained. I'll be thinking about the firemen today!

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Old 04-10-2011, 10:33 AM   #2
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So glad to hear you made it out safely. We were in the campground just two weeks ago. Such a tragedy for such a beautiful area. Our thoughts and prayers are with the community and firefighters today.

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Old 04-10-2011, 10:39 AM   #3
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I agree that it's just terrible. Still can't believe it all happened so fast. Latest news is that the fire is still "zero percent contained" and has burned over 25,000 acres and 50 homes. Scary stuff

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Old 04-10-2011, 12:34 PM   #4
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I hope the folks that were out didn't leave a pet in the camper
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Old 04-10-2011, 02:25 PM   #5
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We are happy to hear you and others had enough time to evacuate. Very sad for the area. We have been there a couple of times and really like it in the Davis Mtn area. We hope to return in the future.
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Old 04-10-2011, 02:35 PM   #6
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We do feel very lucky to have gotten out in time. I have to give credit to the rangers and local police who did an excellent job getting everone prepared. I do hope that last rig got out too.

The latest news is that the fire entered the park, but didn't destroy any structures there which is good news. In and around the Fort Davis area however 50 homes were destroyed. They estimate anywhere from 20,000 to 60,000 acres burned....just terrible. The fire has moved away, but is still not contained.

Marfa radio is keeping a running update on their website

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Old 04-10-2011, 02:45 PM   #7
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Thanks for the posting on this news. RustyJC and I have camped at the state park for many, many years and even owned property in Limpia Crossing (between the state park and the observatory). It is one of our most favorite camping places of all.

We've been through all kinds of disasters while camping at the park: unexpected near sub zero weather when a norther descended upon us and a terrible rain that flooded the park where the creekbed actually overflowed its banks and those on the back side of it couldn't get out of the park.

But never once in the park with fire looming.....that is so scary!

I'll check the links you posted and please update news as you may hear it. We don't have any friends that live out in that area, but we feel as it is still our "home" even though we sold our ten acres years ago.

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Old 04-10-2011, 03:25 PM   #8
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We in Big Bend National Park and had planned to go to Davis Mountain State Park the end of next week. A Park Ranger stopped us today and told us all roads north of Hwy US 90 are closed. We may just wait it out here in Big Bend.
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Old 04-10-2011, 05:37 PM   #9
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The latest info just posted on Marfa radio at 5:45pm says the fire is still moving and still "zero percent contained". If that's true that means the poor fire crews that have been battling this thing throughout the night and day have not made any progress. My understanding is that it's moved away from Fort Davis, but still burning strong, fueled by winds and low humidity.

I do hope we start getting better news on this soon...


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Old 04-10-2011, 08:12 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by WheelingIt View Post
A big fire broke out near Fort Davis yesterday and is still blazing today!
As I read your post this afternoon, it stirred me to have a conversation with my wife regarding evacuation plans.

As you demonstrated, with a motorhome, it's possible to flee some forms of approaching disaster. Of course, advance warning is essential and would certainly vary from a few minutes to several hours (or more).

Normally, when we're planning on moving in the morning, we make much of our preparation the evening before departure (storing outside furniture, storing loose items inside, etc.). It usually takes less than an hour in the morning to dump, disconnect the umbilicals, hook up the toad and get going.

It strikes us that, with a little advance thought, much of that process could be eliminated/expedited. As an example, if time is extremely critical, simply close the dump valves and disconnect the sewer hose (leave it behind) and 10 minutes is saved. Have DW drive the toad and another 10 minutes of hookup time is saved.

At any rate, your posting has caused us to have a discussion about what kinds of things we should consider IF we need to emergency evacuate our campsite...sort of "I'll do these things outside while you, DW, do these things inside."

I'm guessing that, with a little forethought, we could be moving in well less than 30 minutes...it might not be pretty, there would be some things left behind, but, we'd be on our way away from impending disaster.

Thanks for the unintended consequences of your posting.

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Old 04-10-2011, 08:26 PM   #11
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Glad to hear you all got out,,,I have been following several fires on-line (tis the season). The winds in the southwest have been terrible this spring. We are currently in NM and are on high alert.I have personally see the distructive power of fire durring fire service career.
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Old 04-10-2011, 09:05 PM   #12
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Thanks for posting!

Thanks for posting. I once read someone say they post their cell phone number in their window when they were away from their RV. I think we will definitely do this if we ever leave our pets in the RV and consider doing it even if they are with us and we are away for an extended period. Currently we don't tow a vehicle so most often are pretty close by.

I recently started following your blog and really enjoy it!

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Old 04-10-2011, 10:38 PM   #13
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Getting out of the way of natural disasters is one of the reasons we own a fiver. But the natural disasters we plan for usually have a day's notice (hurricanes) We can't shelter in place, we have to evacuate as our home is not safe during a hurricane.

Good point on leaving the little things behind. Water and sewer hoses are replaceable. I can get the rig hitched up and be out of there in less than ten minutes if I don't have to worry about dumping, flushing, and general campsite maintenance.
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Old 04-11-2011, 11:30 AM   #14
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You know all the comments about emergency preparedness are right on. I have to admit we were pretty quick to get out, but we were also lucky. This whole thing has got me thinking ALOT more about how to be prepared including leaving things behind, like 777 Driver mentioned, and putting a note about the pets.

As of this morning the fire is still (unfortunately) blazing, but is apparently coming under some level of control. As of 11AM it was reported as "40% contained". Still a long way from done, and I'm actively thinking about the locals and fire-crews there.

Here are the latest news posts:

An earlier report from CNN:
No significant containment on large wildfires in Texas, officials say - CNN.com

Latest news from Marfa Radio:
KRTS 93.5 FM Marfa Public Radio | Radio For A Wide Range


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